I don’t understands Republicans. I really don’t. How did they every come up with Bob Dole in 1996? How did either Bush, father or child, make it past the doubled over in laughter phase? Yet, they tend to nominate people who frequently win. (For my interest, I have added in red their Tradespot odds as of 12/6/2006.)
Mitt Romney (gov-MA) - 5 to 1 (6 to 1)
Polling in the middle of the field (9%), he has the best growth potential. Walking a tightrope. Trying to appeal to religious conservatives and political moderates (a Mormon from Massachusetts) without appearing to be a liberal religious wacko (a Massachusetts Mormon). Leads the outsider faction.
John McCain (sen-AZ) - 6 to 1 (1 to 1)
Second in most polls at 30%. Crafted the campaign financing laws to advantage himself. Benefits from the Republican habit of nominating the “guy who’s earned it” whether he deserves it or not. See Bob Dole in 1996. He is hated by the rightwing activists who vote in primaries. Too old, will be 72 on election day. McCain's best chance at becoming president is by pulling a Lieberman and running as a third party independent against a Hillary versus Condi, all woman election.
Newt Gingrich (GA) - 8 to 1 (20 to 1)
Polling 9%, Newt is the choice of the movement conservatives, are there any left? Actually, he has a chance in a weak field.
Condoleezza Rice (AL) - 9 to 1 (50 to 1)
Tied at the hip to George Bush, a darling of the neo-cons and pro-war Republicans. Her speaking style is close to unbearable, but, then, so is Bush’s. She is the only real Bush insider in the race. Condi is the hardest person to handicap. She is not mentioned in all the polls but does well when she is.
Tom Tancredo (rep-CO) - 10 to 1 (500 to 1)
The sweetheart of the anti-immigration crowd. Probably lost Florida with his crack about third-world Miami.
Rudy Giuliani (NY) - 12 to 1 (6 to 1)
Leads all the polls (33%) but, come on. His highest office has been mayor of New York City. He is pro-abortion, pro-gay, and anti-gun. His lifestyle is metrosexual so he can forget the social conservatives. His only appeal is among the "9-11 changed everything" crowd. I can’t begin to understand why he is polling so well. Did I mention that I don’t understand Republicans?
Tommy Thompson (WI) - 15 to 1, Jeb Bush (gov-FL) - 18 to 1 (100 to 1), Sam Brownback (sen-KS) 20 to 1 (60 to 1)
Long shots. Thompson (3%) has no base. Never count out a Bush (Jenna for 2032, anyone?), but he is a better bet for 2012. Brownback (2%) is the hero of the creationists.
George Allen (VA) - 80 to 1 (300 to 1)
John Sununu (sen-NH), Chuck Hagel (sen-NB) (90 to 1), Mike Huckabee (gov-AR) (10 to 1), George Pataki (gov-NY) (200 to 1) - all 99 to 1
Bet on Allen running to try to redeem his reputation. Bet on him losing. Hagel and Pataki (1%) are considered RINOs by Republican activists; no chance. Sununu and Huckabee will only run as a gift to comics.
Duncan Hunter (rep-CA) - 998 to 1 (1000 to 1)
Duncan (2%) is my representative to Congress. I know the guy. He is the epitome of the "hail fellow, well met" glad-handing politician. As corrupt as his best friend, Duke Cunningham, but smarter. Losing the chair of the House Armed Services Committee is a major hit to Duncan’s finances. He is running for president to have a second campaign committee to collect and filter money to his family and their retainers.
Michael Smith (OR), John Cox (IL) - 999 to 1
Smith and Cox are just trying to meet women.
Sources: CNN polling data, wikipedia